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Corey Hart | Dreaming Time Again

The Canadian icon's first EP in about five years isn't worth the wait.

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When you only release a handful of songs every handful of years, they should be incredible. Magical. Unforgettable. Essential. Unfortunately, none of these words apply to the songs on Dreaming Time Again, Corey Hart’s first EP in about five years. It’s not that there’s anything particularly wrong with these five songs; it’s just that they’re … well, average. Fair. So-so. Meh. Which is honestly about what you’d expect from a guy who’s basically been semi-retired since Jean Chretien was PM. Hart’s latest offerings include a half-decent heartland rocker, a couple of ballads, a rootsy number co-starring fellow Canadian icon Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, and even his recent Christmas number (whose inclusion frankly seems less like an artistic choice and more like a marketing move). On the plus side, it’s nice to see that the 56-year-old singer-songwriter still has the same instantly recognizable rasp of old — and that he isn’t embarrassing himself by writing Sunglasses at Nite 2.0 or Boy In a VR Box. Plus, I’m sure his most loyal fans are happy to hear from him again. But as swell as it is to have him back in action, unless he plans to quit half-assing it, buckle down, dig deep and deliver something more vital, honest and memorable than this forgettable fare, he really might want to consider surrendering after all.